Source – investors.com
loud computing leaders Amazon.com (AMZN), Microsoft (MSFT) and Google, along with internet giants, have the inside track in monetizing artificial intelligence technology, a Mizuho Securities report says, but enterprise software providers also will grab a piece of the action.
At a basic level, artificial intelligence is the use of computer algorithms to attempt to replicate the human ability to learn, reason and make decisions.
Amazon, Microsoft and Google-parent Alphabet (GOOGL) are pushing into AI-as-a-service. They plan to rent AI tools to customers on a pay-as-you-go basis via their public cloud-computing services.
Enterprise software providers such as Salesforce.com (CRM) and ServiceNow (NOW) are in the early stages of embedding AI tools in existing products to make them more predictive, analysts say.
“In evaluating recent artificial intelligence/machine learning trends and innovation put forth by enterprise vendors, we see incremental benefit for Salesforce, ServiceNow and Splunk (SPLK),” Mizuho analyst Abhey Lamba said. “Across the stack, we think the revenue opportunity lies with application vendors that address specific business problems or analytical tool providers that help enable a solution. The core AI engine layer of the stack will likely be dominated by large vendors such as Amazon, Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB), Google and Microsoft; smaller players are likely to either get acquired or run into significant headwinds.”
AI, around since the 1960s, now comes in new forms. The two most mentioned are “machine learning” and “deep learning networks.” The basic idea is to make better predictions by analyzing massive amounts of data.
Analysts expect companies spanning banks and finance, health care, energy, retail, agriculture and other sectors to increase spending on AI technology.
Salesforce.com introduced its “Einstein” AI cloud platform in September 2016. Einstein tools identify and prioritize sales leads and recommend products and pricing options, making it easier for sales reps to convert leads to sales.
“Salesforce.com continues to be one of the biggest proponents of machine learning, with early organic investments plus robust M&A,” Lamba added. “Einstein is seeing strong interest from customers but production deployments could take some time. ServiceNow is likely to sustain momentum as it pushes for deeper enterprise automation across functional areas with investments in product.”